Non-MARC Metadata

Catalogs, finding aids, and digital collections are all over the metadata map, and now they're talking about a future untethered from MARC. We’re here to help.

linked data


As the library community has started looking ahead to BIBFRAME, Backstage has begun experimenting with linked data formats for our clients to use in existing discovery environments and in new systems currently under development. 

For libraries who are taking early steps into the world of linked data, we’re formatting URIs to provide links in the authorized access points of a library’s catalog that connect out to source data in Library of Congress, VIAF, and ISNI authority files.

We can insert these URIs into your library’s authority records and attach them to access points in your bibliographic records as a $0.

Although many of the source databases envisioned for connecting linked data are still being developed, we’ve helped libraries move more than 100 million bibliographic records in their catalogs closer to a linked data future by enriching those records with RDA elements.

For example, our robust GMD to CMC mapping ensures that when changes come, your CMC data will be properly parsed to take advantage of linked data sources by connecting 336, 337, and 338 fields to new URIs.


Although new systems for managing library content and metadata may not include traditional authority control functionality, discovery in these environments can still benefit from the application of controlled vocabularies.

Digital image collections provide one scenario for applying authority control in a non-MARC setting.

Backstage can extract XML headings from a digital asset manager like CONTENTdm and run them through our authority control process. We match your headings against Library of Congress names and subjects, your local authority file, or some other controlled vocabulary database. Then we return the cleaned-up data with authorized forms and see references formatted to fit your system’s XML schema.


Archival collections around the world remain hidden in part because many finding aids simply aren’t available beyond the walls of the library.

Whether your finding aids reside in MARC records, text files, or paper documents, Backstage can convert this metadata to EAD so your archival discovery tools can leverage the finding aids to bring your hidden collections to light.


Metadata for digital images can range from file naming protocols and directory structures, to text markup and mapping, to detailed description and subject analysis.

Sometimes structural metadata can be as simple as digitally binding pages together to create PDF volumes. In other situations, you may need more complex organization to build collections for a digital asset management system. We can help either way.

Backstage can also prepare metadata to create structure within an image file or collection. Article-level segmentation with METS/ALTO metadata allows your users to easily find the second half of a newspaper article that starts on the front page and picks up again five pages later.

METS/ALTO can also be used to flag headlines or other compositional elements, giving users more granular options for searching.

As for description, we can work with your special collections staff and subject matter experts to identify the most useful types of information to gather for producing rich descriptive metadata tailored to your users' needs.


When your project demands full-text conversion, but handwriting or poor character definition rule out the automation of OCR, Backstage can provide transcription services to fit your requirements.

Transcription is a labor-intensive process, so Backstage brings you options that combine offshore services with review by our U.S.-based staff to strike the right balance of cost-effective conversion work and context-based quality assurance.

To explore how partnering with Backstage can help you in managing metadata beyond your traditional catalog, call us at 1-800-288-1265 or drop us a note.